You’ll never eat a more phenomenal and comforting spinach lasagna than this one! Easy to make with no-boil noodles and the cheesiest of sauces!
There’s something intrinsic about lasagna that makes it such a wonderful fall and winter meal. It’s more than likely that oodles of cheesiness has something to do with how a great lasagna can warm the soul on chilly nights, very much like how soup has the same effect.
But I think that the right recipe can do so much more.
The right recipe creates memories. It evokes memories of crowded Sunday dinners at the grandparents’ house. Of a warm and hearty meal after a day of sledding or ice skating. Of a full buffet table at a christening or anniversary party.
This spinach lasagna is that type of recipe.
Made with a super easy homemade creamy béchamel (milk) sauce, three types of cheese, fresh spinach, and no-boil noodles that you’ll soften with hot water before using, this lasagna is a BIG hit around here. It’s a fun recipe to make with a helper since there are a few steps, but the effort is TOTALLY the end result.
This is pretty much the best spinach lasagna I’ve ever eaten! And believe me, as someone raised in an Italian family, I’ve eaten A LOT of spinach lasagna!
Layer after layer goes in the baking dish and after 20 minutes of baking and a few minutes under the broiler to brown-up the cheesy top layer, you’ve got truly the best spinach lasagna ever. Seriously. The BEST. EVER.
We’ve made this recipe more times than we can count and we always get the same reaction from whomever we serve it to: MORE PLEASE! This is definitely a recipe we keep in our book of favorites and don’t hesitate to serve time and time again.
The Best Spinach Lasagna Ever
Prepare yourself for the Best Spinach Lasagna Ever. 3 types of cheese, fresh spinach, and no-boil noodles make this the most unforgettable spinach lasagna you'll ever eat. Give yourself about 1 hour to prep and cook this lasanga, and another 15 minutes to allow it to cool and set before serving.
For the spinach:
- 1 tbsp table salt
- 20 oz fresh spinach (two 10-oz bags), rinsed
For the béchamel:
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 5 large shallots, minced (about 1 cup)
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (generous 1 tablespoon)
- ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 ½ cups milk
- 2 bay leaves
- ¾ tsp fresh grated nutmeg or ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp table salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 oz grated Parmesan cheese (about ½ cup)
For the cheeses and pasta:
- 8 oz whole milk or 1% cottage cheese
- 1 large egg
- ¼ tsp table salt
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles from 1 box
- 2 oz grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
- 8 oz Italian fontina cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
- To prepare the spinach: Fill large bowl with ice water. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven or stockpot over high heat; add salt and spinach, stirring until spinach is just wilted, about 5 seconds. Using skimmer or fine-mesh strainer, transfer spinach to ice water and let stand until completely cool, about 1 minute, then drain spinach and transfer to clean kitchen towel. Wrap towel tightly around spinach to form ball and wring until dry. Chop spinach medium and set aside.
- To make the béchamel: Melt 5 tbsp butter until foaming in medium saucepan over medium heat; add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 ½ minutes. Do not brown. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat, whisk in bay leaves, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Whisk in Parmesan and discard bay leaves. Transfer sauce to bowl, press plastic wrap directly against hot surface, and set aside.
- To prepare the cheeses and pasta: Blend cottage cheese, egg, and salt in food processor or blender until very smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl and set aside. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425° F. Place noodles in 13×9-inch broiler-safe baking dish and cover with hot tap water; let soak 5 minutes, agitating noodles occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on kitchen towel. Wipe baking dish dry and grease with remaining 1 tbsp butter.
- To assemble and bake: Spread ½ cup of the sauce over the bottom of the baking dish and lay 3 of the noodles lengthwise on top of the sauce. Mix the spinach into the remaining sauce until it is evenly distributed.
- Spread 1 cup of the spinach mixture evenly over the noodles, sprinkle all of the Parmesan cheese evenly over the mixture, and top with 3 more noodles.
- Spread 1 cup of the spinach mixture evenly over the noodles, sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of fontina, and top with 3 more noodles.
- Spread 1 cup of the spinach mixture evenly over the noodles followed by the cottage cheese mixture.
- Top with the remaining 3 noodles, the remaining spinach mixture, and the remaining fontina cheese. Lightly spray a large piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover the lasagna tightly with the foil.
- Bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes, then remove the foil. Remove the pan and adjust oven rack to uppermost position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Broil lasagna until cheese is spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Cool 15 minutes, then cut into pieces and serve.
adapted from The New Best Recipe by Cook's Illustrated
As a member of the Amazon Associate affiliate program, I earn a small percentage from your qualifying Amazon purchases when you click the Amazon links on this page. I'm not informed of who purchases what, just of what products are purchased.
Pyrex Glass Mixing Bowl Set (3-Piece)
All-Clad 8-quart Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Stockpot with Lid/Cookware, Silver
Winco MS3A-8S Strainer with Single Fine Mesh, 8-Inch Diameter
All-Clad 3-quart Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Sauce Pan with Lid / Cookware
Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel, White
Pyrex Basics 3 Quart Glass Oblong Baking Dish with Red Plastic Lid -13.2 INCH x 8.9inch x 2 inch
I love the white sauce in this! Totally trying this this week!
You have no idea how many hours I have spent looking for a spinach lasagna recipe with a white sauce – one that jumped out at me (most always called for a JAR of Alfredo sauce. No, thank you.) Making this * tonight* to feed that craving monster.
Is is possible to use ricotta instead of cottage cheese? Or do you think that will ruin the taste and/or consistency of this dish? It looks absolutely delicious! Thanks!
ChicagoJudy: You could use ricotta but Cook’s Illustrated tested both ricotta and cottage cheese and the c.c. yielded a better consistency. It is pureed so there aren’t any chunks and you don’t even know it’s cottage cheese when eating it.
This looks wonderful – rich and delicious! Gorgeous photos. 🙂
Cannot wait to make this!!!!! That cheese looks heavenly…….
This. Looks. AMAZING.
I made this yesterday and it was AMAZING! Thanks for the recipe!
This looks really good!
Can’t wait to try this, my perfect lasagna!
I have such a weakness for lasagna…this looks to-die-for!!
i made this last week and added chicken (i told my fiance it was “chicken lasagna” since he’s frightened by green stuff like spinach)… it was AMAZING…probably one of the best lasagna recipes out there! thank you so much!!!!!!
Made this tonight and loved it. Thanks for sharing!
Lisa: Glad you loved it!
I just made this and the smell alone almost drove me insane. It is amazing, thankyou!
Let’s just be clear:
This isn’t your recipe at all. I would not comment if you took the effort to add something of your own to the recipe, something unique, but you didn’t. And you buried the source.
This is a Cook’s Country recipe. Those folks work hard to test their recipes. You could at least not repost them word-for-word.
I can be clear here too: I never said this is my recipe. The source, since the day I posted this recipe, has been clearly stated as The New Best Recipe – it isn’t buried anywhere and it includes a link to Amazon.com if people are interested in buying it. If you’ve read enough recipes written by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated, you’ll know that their recipes are cross-posted in many of their publications. So sure, this recipe may have been published in Cook’s Country but it is also in The New Best Recipe (obviously), on the Cook’s Illustrated website, and was published in Cook’s Illustrated in the March 2004 edition. Thanks for taking the time to stop and comment on my blogging style; you’ve made quite a contribution here.
I’m so glad you shared this recipe from C.I. I love watching their show on pbs but I don’t have the $$ to purchase their books. I actually just made it today for lunch and it was so delicious…everyone loved it including the little ones who say they don’t like spinach!
Can you use frozen spinach instead of fresh? If so, can you guesstimate the amount?
Two 9oz or 10oz frozen packages (brands package spinach differently) will work weight-wise for this recipe. I’m assuming frozen spinach will work ok but I’ve never used it – just make sure it is at room temperature when adding it to the bechamel sauce.
This is the best lasagna I have ever had! The only problem I had was that I needed five noodles per layer instead of three to cover my 9 by 13 pan. Such a great recipe though! Thank you for sharing! 🙂
[…] M: Spinach Lasagna by Smells Like Home […]
Roasted veggie lasagna sounds amazing!
This looks amazing! I just wanted to ask a quick question in terms of the layering? Would you mind telling me in which order you placed your ingredients? I just want to get it right :p Can’t wait to try it! Thanks!
So sorry about that, Tanya!! I’ve just added that very important step to the recipe so you should be seeing it there now. I hope you love this spinach lasagna as much as we do!!
Thanks so much for adding that Tara! Can’t wait to make this on Friday for some family coming over! I’m sure it will be delicious 🙂
You’re so welcome! I know you’re gonna love this one!!
I love your site and this looks amazing! Any feedback on reheating/leftovers? Thank you!
Hi Kellee! Thanks for your kind words! We usually just reheat these leftovers in the microwave in single portions on plates. If you want to reheat the whole pan, cover it with foil and stick it in the oven at 300 degrees F for maybe 30 to 35 minutes. I hope you love this lasagna as much as we do!!
Looks delish and just put together. However got confused at the end as it seems some steps are missing. When do I add the cottage cheese mixture? And it says remaining fontina but do not see when to add first. Hope it turns out with my best guess of layering!
Hi Melissa! I’m so sorry for the error here! I just added back what was missing (apparently, some text got lost when I updated my recipe card). The the first addition of fontina is in Step 6 and cottage cheese mixture is added in Step 7. I hope this turned out well for you! It’s definitely a big favorite of ours!!